There was a wonder-full,”Thought for the Day”, in this morning's paper. It was the following: "Every Spring is the only Spring, a perpetual astonishment."(Edith Peters) As I read that I said to myself, "What a great gift. I can work with that." So, that can be paraphrased into,
*"Every Lent is the only Lent, a perpetual astonishment."*,
*"Every Mass is the only Mass, a perpetual astonishment."*, and
*"Every moment is the only moment, a perpetual astonishment."*
The acceptance of said quotation allows us to be drawn ever deeper in into the richness, the beauty and the complexity of each and every moment we are gifted with, to live. Each moment will be lived in unique circumstances. It will be lived by us in the uniqueness of that moment. A moment never again to be encountered. With each new encounter we become new. By God's grace we are being lead into the truth about who we are, who our God is and who we are, because we have been loved by The Infinite love.
This very mysterious love will lead us to, “Fullness of life and limitless truth". This fullness of life and limitedness truth will not come to us in the way we expect it to happen, or want it to happen. God never comes in the way we want Him to come, or expect Him to come to us. His ways are not our ways. Do we ever come to accept that reality? From my own experience, and what I have learned from working with others, the answer is, I am sorry to say, a resounding NO.
When we begin to speak about the Infinite, that is God, a new language must be adopted. Our previous way of thinking, and defining, that is my ability to control, has to be let go of. We have to leave behind our security, so we can be astonished with the wonder of newer insights and understandings. We have to embrace the new questions that appear. Within every new question is already sewn part of the answer. Now here is the hard and unsettling part, within each new answer is sewn the seed of a new question. Not fair!! How about exciting? How about wonder-full???? Does it ever end? I am sorry to say no. We are all on an eternal quest. A quest for Truth, and Beauty.
We are never alone, and I mean never. When we find ourselves in the most desperate of circumstances, where all seems to be lost, we are not actually. It only appears to our as yet non transformed part of ourselves, we are lost. To the transformed part we could not be in a better place. Makes no sense, right? When we feel we are lost, abandoned, and uncared for it is in those moments our God is zeroing in on us. The lost sheep, is the one that is SOUGHT after. God is then on a mission to seek us out and search us out. He will not give up on us. We might give up, God, CANNOT. He cannot not seek, and search for us. It is so sad to see how so many are lead to believe how easy it to go to hell, and how difficult it is to go to heaven. It is the other way round. It is easy to go to heaven, it is difficult to go to hell. If hell is what I have in mind I will have to fight the Infinite love of God, all the way to hell's gate. After all this journey is not about our love for God but His love for us. Our egos want to earn, deserve, and qualify and is teed off when it cannot do so.
*All is gift.* *All is free.* *All is Grace.*
This is the cause of real difficulty for us, until we are purified of this need. This is a process. Purgation is a lifelong experience we never welcome, but is essential for our spiritual growth.
There is this quotation from a letter which Thomas Merton wrote to Henri Nouwen: ....." at the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God....This little point....is the pure glory of God in us....It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in EVERYBODY". Nouwen goes on to say, "Merton understood that our access to God was connected to the penetrating and penetrable hearts of all people. Purgation is the work of Our Father's love within each one.
If then there is a part of us that has known sin, how can we be sent to hell? Hell is ALWAYS of our choosing, not God’s. "I will not the death of the sinner but he/she be converted and live”. Converted means seeing things in a different light. There is that constant light of love always revealing to us the awe-fullness of who we are. Let us let go of the old ideas which keep us in the prisons of guilt, fear, and shame. We have been given the key to live a life of peace joy and freedom. Listen to the words of The Father as directed to both His Son and as a consequence to us, "You are my beloved daughter/son in whom I am well pleased". That is the reality we must claim every moment of the day. Then we will be able to say with St. peter "It is good that we are here".
One last thought, the glory that shone out through the humanity of Jesus, is waiting to shine through us as well. Do we really believe Henri Nouwen and the scriptures?